Wrestling: U-15 and U-20 national championships to be held in Feb, says ad hoc panel after junior wrestlers’ protest

The Ad-Hoc Committee for Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Wednesday announced to organize the National Championships for the U-15 and U-20 categories within the next six weeks at Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education (Gwalior) after a protest by junior wrestlers at Jantar Mantar demanding the dissolution of the IOA-constituted committee.

“The (ad-hoc) committee acknowledges the concerns raised by the young wrestlers (during the protest) and is committed to addressing the issues. The Committee is planning to organise the national championships for the U-15 and U-20 categories within the next six weeks at LNIPE, Gwalior,” Bhupender Singh Bajwa, chairman of the three-member panel said.

Advising the young wrestlers to continue training and practising for the upcoming events, the Ad-Hoc Committee reassured the junior wrestlers that the U-15, U-20 national championships will be held in February 2024, in Gwalior for which the details will be announced soon.

The committee said in a short span of a week it has already taken several initiatives for the “growth and development of wrestling in India, fostering a culture of excellence and perseverance.”

The committee said it has already selected a 13-member Indian team to participate in the upcoming 1st Ranking Series, Zagreb Open Wrestling tournament, taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, from January 10 to 14.

The committee said it has Scheduled the conduct of the senior national championships in February 2024

The committee further said it has scheduled the organization of national camps for senior wrestlers at SAI NRC Sonepat for men and SAI NSNIS Patiala for women, for preparation for the Olympic Qualifying tournaments and the Senior Asian Championships.

The Asian Olympic Qualifiers are scheduled to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from April 19-21, 2024, while the World Olympic Qualifiers are set to take place in Istanbul, Turkey, from May 9-12, the committee added.

Wrestling activities in the country have been hit hard following protests by the country’s top three grapplers — Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat — against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

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Published: 03 Jan 2024, 05:43 PM IST

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